I keep seeing this making the rounds and figured I’d break my self-imposed blog break by going on the record as dissenting to this claim.
This type of statement screams privilege.
There are millions of marginalized students NOT learning these so-called life skills right now. Millions! And not only are they not learning life skills. They aren’t learning at all. Some have disappeared completely from the system. Some are struggling to access even the most basic of technology services. And some are more concerned with food and safety needs than figuring out why their mic isn’t working on Zoom.
Consider the teenagers who have chosen to work rather than return to school virtually – a trend particularly prevalent among low-income Latino families – who are now at greater risk of dropping out altogether from school (Source).
Consider the students with special education needs whose parents aren’t always equipped to help teachers fulfill their children’s IEP. If parents need to work, their child misses classes and meetings with specialists, which not only hurts academic progress, but essential life skills attainment as well.
There are many more groups of marginalized students who are also not learning right now.
So how exactly are these students learning the life skills mentioned by this “Bored Teachers” statement?
But you know who is?
The students from higher socioeconomic families that are not only learning those life skills, but may also be getting private tutors or extra parental support because their parents could take time off work or readjust their schedules. They’re continuing to plow ahead with the learning the millions of others aren’t getting.
So let’s not try to fool ourselves, or others, into thinking that all the students are just fine … that there’s no falling behind.
Look, I know 2020 is hard (unprecedented/impossible/etc), and the demands being placed on teachers is … well… there is no word for how crazy the demands are right now.
I get it.
But that doesn’t give us permission to ignore the reality of the situation, even if we are tired of hearing it. Because the truth of the matter is, there ARE millions of students falling behind.